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Can an infant have tics?
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Can an infant have tics?

My 9 month old baby boy has "unusual movements" (that is what our pediatrician has called them).

The movements look like seizures.  He had an E.E.G. done that showed that he is susceptible to seizures.  After that, he had a 24 hour E.E.G. that came back normal.   He has never had any bloodwork done.

The behaviors include:  

* Tensing his arm and hand; stretching out his fingers in an awkward position; shaking it very quickly while staring intently at his shaking hand; usually making a growling sound at the same time.

* Slinging his head from side to side methodically for no reason.  It sometimes starts when he is in a stare or concentrating on something and then his head starts to sling.  It also seems to happen when he gets excited.   He'll sling it a few times, stop for a few minutes and then do it again.  

*Rhythmically hitting himself on his cheek with the back of his left hand.  Often this happens while he is slinging his head from side to side.

*Staring intently at his hands while he slowly moves his fingers or waves them in front of his eyes.

*Grunting and clicking his mouth.

*Clapping his hands. He'll even do this just seconds after waking up.

A neurologist was in charge of his 24 hour E.E.G., but they never did a physical examination of him. They only asked us questions about family history.  They did an MRI which came back normal.   They have said it is all "normal behavior" and to not worry about it.

Is this normal?  Can a 9 month old already have tics?  Should he be further evaluated?

Thank you,
Connie
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A child of this age would not have "tics" from a tic disorder. Unfortunately, when it comes to abnormal vs. normal movements it helps to see the movements. Therefore, I would recommend having an opinion with a pediatric neurologist. You are concerned enough by the movements, that obtaining an opinion will help answer your fears. Have all the previous reports with you so that the new doctor can review them, and only repeat tests which are necessary. From what you described, the normal MRI is encouraging because it helps to exclude structural problems. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a Doctor or medical professional, so take what I say in stride...
But, me nephew had some of those symptons and he was diagosned with PDD (persasive development disorder) with is some mild form of austism, or on the spectrum.

Like I said, I am no pro, but you could atleast ask.

Good Luck, I wish you the best!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the comment.  Autism was the first thing we suspected as well, but he is very social and has no other symptoms of autism.

Thanks anyway,
Connie
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Avatar_n_tn
Another possibility (which is often seen with autism, but also seen otherwise) is sensory integration dysfunction. Its essentially what causes the stimming (self stimulation) seen in children that have autism. I'd suspect this is far more likely than tics in a child this young. See an Occupational Therapist with experience in SID (or DSI-Disorder of Sensory Integration) for an eval and see if this might be the answer. You can contact your local Early Childhood Intervention program for an eval (free) and treatment, oftentimes there at your home. This way too, you have a therapist that see's children with other issues, including autism, seeing the child in case there is more to his issues. Good news is that DSI is essentially their neurological system being immature and with time and therapy, they often overcome much if not all of it, especially when its addressed early on.

God bless,
Kass, proud mom to Chance(10), Madison(6), and Abby(5)- all with Mitochondrial Disease
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Avatar_n_tn
Has he had any infections lately? Strep will sometimes bring on a rapid onset of tics. Look up PANDAS in a search engine. Good luck!
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